With the victory on Rallye Mont-Blanc Morzine, Romain Di Fante is the fourth different winner in as many rounds of this season’s Clio R3T Trophy France. In this hotly contested campaign, the Nice native now trails Boris Carminati, who finished runner-up, by just one point and is a very serious contender for the title.
The 71st edition of Rallye Mont-Blanc Morzine kicked-off Friday with the longest stage of the event, La Joux Verte with Romain Di Fante setting best time, 3.4s quicker than Jérémy Jamet and 6.3s better than Boris Carminati.
The trio of leaders pulled away from the rest of the field in the opening loop, where Romain Di Fante claimed another scratch time, while Boris Carminati took two of his own. At the lunch hour, the Nice native had a 2.9s lead from Boris Carminati with Jérémy Jamet 5.4s adrift of the leader while fourth place Ivan Ferrarotti was already down more than 30 seconds.
Romain Di Fante dominated the afternoon with three consecutive stage wins to pull away as Jérémy Jamet took second place from Boris Carminati. After the first leg, Romain Di Fante had a solid 16-second lead from Jérémy Jamet with Boris Carminati third at 23.4s. Ivan Ferrarotti was nearly a minute behind as he led the tightly bunched pack of Cédric Noe, Dorian Nicolas, Mathieu Walter and Olivier Courtois
Romain Di Fante kept the momentum going Saturday morning with the best time on the roads of Praz de Lys. Boris Carminati tried to answer back on SS10 where he retook second place from Jérémy Jamet. Further back, fifth place Cédric Noe went off before the final service.
With a healthy 27.4s lead, Romain Di Fante was able to manage the final three stages that he shared best times with Boris Carminati and Ivan Ferrarotti. The Italian driver put in a strong run on the penultimate stage when he made the most of a puncture for Jérémy Jamet to move up to third place.
In Morzine, Romain Di Fante became the fourth different winner in as many rallies this season. He was also the top Junior and was joined on the podium by Boris Carminati and Ivan Ferrarotti. Dorian Nicolas finished fourth ahead of Jérémy Jamet and Gentleman category winner, Olivier Courtois. Damien Tozlanian and William Pitot took advantage of a puncture suffered by Mathieu Walter on SS10 to move up the order while Pascal Bérard completed the top ten.
Boris Carminati now has a slim one-point lead from Romain Di Fante in the general classification. Dorian Nicolas is now a distant third, 30 points behind, but everything remains to be played for at Rallye Cœur de France (27-29 September) and on Rallye du Var (22-24 November).
Romain Di Fante: “We haven’t been very lucky with a lot of mistakes since the beginning of the season. This is the first time we have had a car this fast, so Patrick and I worked a lot for this rally we already knew and we managed to run up front without taking too many risks and then managing the lead the way you are supposed to. The key on such a long and difficult rally is to find consistency and make it to the finish and it is really nice to see our work pay off on the Mont-Blanc round. With the lost opportunities earlier this season, the goal was to be ahead of Boris to take as many points as possible from him before taking on the two final rallies where our lack of experience with the Clio 3T compared to him will disappear. I’m looking forward to discovering the Cœur de France round and I would like to thank my team, partners, Patrick and everyone who follow me in this trophy with its unique atmosphere as we are all a big family! "
Clio R3T Trophy France – Rallye Mont-Blanc Morzine
1. Romain Di Fante — Patrick Chiappe (J) 2h04:59.1s
2. Boris Carminati — Marine Lacruz +28.1s
3. Ivan Ferrarotti — Manuel Fenoli +1:27.2s
4. Dorian Nicolas — Chloé Trincald +2:45.8s
5. Jérémy Jamet — Marine Journet (J) +3:03.2s
6. Olivier Courtois – Hubert Risser (G) +3:10.6s
7. Damien Tozlanian – Jérémy Pacaud +5:51.6s
8. William Pitot — Romain Brun (J) +6:31.1s
9. Mathieu Walter — Thibault Raincourt +7:11.5s
10. Pascal Bérard – Caroline Bérard (G) +7:59.6s
11. Philippe Rageau — Alexandra Rageau (G) +8:49.0s
12. David Duc – Mallaury Sola (G) +9:37.9s
13. Pascal Aimé – Stéphanie Aimé (G) +9:41.3s
14. Dominique Patenotte – Valentin Goutel (G) +11:08.0s
15. Éric Filippi – Francis Mazzotti (G) +12:35.8s
16. Raphaël Marry – Jérôme Duc (G) +14:28.5s
17. Guy Bertrand — Karine Gehin (G) +15:55.0s
18. Charlotte Berton — Cécile Pages (F) +16:11.0s
Ab. Cédric Noe – Alex Vignolle
Ab. Mathieu Viscuso – Alexandre Bérard
Clio R3T Trophy France - General classification
1. Boris Carminati, 70 points
2. Romain Di Fante (J), 69 points
3. Dorian Nicolas, 40 points
4. Cédric Noe, 38 points
5. Jérémy Jamet (J), 37 points
6. Ivan Ferrarotti, 36 points
7. Mathieu Walter, 33 points
8. Alexis Frontier (J), 30 points
9. Olivier Courtois (G), 24 points
10. William Pitot (J), 18 points
11. Guillaume Jean, 15 points
12. José Javier Pérez (J), 9 points
13. Damien Tozlanian, 9 points
14. Julien Brégeon, 6 points
15. Philippe Rageau (G), 4 points
16. Pascal Bérard (G), 1 point
17. Yoann Lambert, 1 point
18. Charlotte Berton (F), 0 point
19. Éric Filippi (G), 0 point
20. Václav Stejskal Jr (J), 0 point
21. David Duc (G), 0 point
22. Dominique Patenotte (G), 0 point
23. Pascal Aimé (G), 0 point
24. Keana Erickson-Chang (F), 0 point
25. Christophe Herbelin (G), 0 point
26. Raphaël Marry (G), 0 point
27. Guy Bertrand (G), 0 point
28. Franck Badel, 0 point
29. Antoine Delaroche-Foucauld, 0 point
30. Mathieu Viscuso, 0 point